At The Players’ Tribune, we know that music and sports have always been great teammates. That’s why we’ve created Playlist, a series where we ask our contributors to look inside their phones, cars, workout mixes and whatever else — and share some songs they’ve had in heavy rotation.
Here with this week’s Playlist is #ChargedUp Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers.
(Scroll to the bottom for a Spotify playlist with all of Brandon’s songs.)
1. “Real Sisters” and “Kno the Meaning,” Future
I usually have a variety of artists I’m listening to, but right now I’m really heavy on Future.
I think with his last album, DS2, Future tried to prove a point — tried to prove that he’s not gonna fall off. And he did that. This was Future’s summer. Between DS2 and What a Time to Be Alive, Future made a statement.
His music just does something to you — it gives you this energy. The two songs that I really play a lot before every game are “Real Sisters” and “Kno the Meaning.” For some reason, those two songs just get me in the zone. I heard “Real Sisters” at a nightclub and have been hooked ever since. And “Kno the Meaning” — I listen to that everywhere. Driving around … sitting around at my house … wherever. Can’t get enough.
2. “Charged Up,” Drake
You know I can’t play for the Chargers and not talk about “Charged Up.” That song was made for us — we love it. They play it in the stadium and it just gets us ready to go.
I think “Charged Up” kind of solidified Drake. Meek Mill is a battle rapper, so when Meek came at Drake a lot people probably thought Drake wasn’t going to respond. But “Charged Up” was Drake’s warning shot. Just letting him know, you know, I can go like that. He let everybody know that he wasn’t scared to battle anybody.
3. “Eternity,” Master P
I’m from the South, so growing up I was really into Master P. My older cousin dated a guy from New Orleans — and he introduced me to that whole New Orleans feel. He put me on to Master P and I paid attention. Even at a young age, I could recite any Master P song from start to finish.
My favorite was always “Eternity.” Back when I was playing football as a kid, I remember the guys just bouncing to that song, nonstop, on our way to practice and games. I still go to YouTube and watch the video every now and then.
I think with Master P, for us, it was about having music we could relate to. That East Coast Rap, everything coming out of New York, sure, we listened to some of it. But we couldn’t relate to it. Master P, though — that’s how people in my neighborhood talked. So we just gravitated to him. It was our sound, our stories.
4. “Aquemini,” OutKast
I’ll say it: Aquemini is one of the best albums of all time.
It’s just so … smooth. OutKast had this approach to the game that was just so much smoother than everyone else’s. Andre 3000 wasn’t afraid to wear the skirts and the headscarves. Big Boi did his thing. Their music, their lyrics, their persona — it was unlike anything else out. It just pulled people in. And I was one of those people — from the first time I heard Aquemini, I was hooked.
I used to hold out hope that they’d come out with one more album. Three years ago, I thought maybe they would. But as more time goes by, I’ve gotta be honest: I think it’s a lost cause. We’ll probably get Andre on more features; we’ll probably get more Big Boi solo records. But for the two of them to do a whole album together … I just don’t think it’s gonna happen. Am I over it? No. But I guess I’ve come to terms with it.
5. “Hit ‘em Up,” 2Pac
The best song of all time is “Hit ‘em Up” by 2Pac. Try and pretend there’s ever been a better rapper than Pac. And on this track, wow — he went all out.
Rappers these days — they’ll take subliminal shots … but they won’t really mention each other by name. 2Pac, though — would go in. On “Hit ‘em Up,” you can feel his aggression, his pain, his anger. It’s all in his voice. I couldn’t even tell you how many hundreds of times I’ve listened to it, over all these years — and somehow it still sounds fresh. Like it could’ve been released today.